By Twimepoki Mangani
Malawi holds higher expectations in professional cycling following its signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Glasgow, Scotland with various stakeholders under Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
Speaking with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Thursday, President of Cycling Federation of Malawi, Malombo Kayira revealed that several partnerships were established in August during preparations for 2023 UCI World Championship which took place in Scotland.
Kayira said the meeting highlighted how countries like Malawi could improve in cycling development and promotion of women in the sport.
“We want to develop a BMX track in order to develop the sport from the grass root stage and am glad I came across partners such as the Scotland Malawi Partnership who want to help.
“We also have a partnership with the University of Glasgow who are waiting for our proposals,” he said.
Kayira also hailed Billy Bilsland Cycles from Glasgow for supporting Macpherson Mbeya with bicycles and spare parts worth approximately K7 million for all his races during the championship which included a 51 Cervelo P3 Di2 and a Genesis Mantle HT.
“The Scotland Malawi partnership helped us identify Billy Bilsland since travelling with own Bicycles would have been expensive and it was likely that we would not pass the bike test which are conducted before the competition because our bikes are outdated,” he said.
Malawi’s representative at this year’s championships, Macpherson Mbeya said Malawi has potential to produce competitive cyclists if adequate support and equipment are rendered to the sport.
“I participated in the Gran Fondo road race which was 196 kilometres then the mountain bike cross country marathon (100 kilometres) and the time trial for grand fondo (22.6 kilometres).
“In my first race I got lost because I didn’t know that the starting and finishing points are located in two different places which is contrary to how we do it in Malawi,” he said.
Mbeya further appealed to Malawi National Council of Sports, government and private companies to consider investing and promoting cycling as done to other sports since it has the potential of boasting tourism.
The Malawi Scottish partnership is conducting research and as well as sourcing money to build a cycling track in Blantyre to aid elevating the sport.
UCI offered the invitation and sponsors the trip since Malawi did not qualify for championship having not participated in continental games recently.